Tuesday, August 31, 2004


As I grow older I find myself wanting more
and more things in that 'how have I lived
this long without a salad spinner' kind of
way. It's not that I really lose touch with
what I really need in life it's just that
appliances that once looked dull, useless
and expensive suddenly appear so shiny and
eye catching.

As a kid, I grew up in a house that was
fairly behind the times as far as technical
appliances went. We had a tiny TV with just
a few channels. My father, a man with his
own PR business typed on a typewriter way
until the early nineties. While most families
had moved on to CD players we still had a
record player and two speakers the size of
dorm room mini-fridges. By the time I left
for school my parents still had a red rotary
phone that hung on the wall and one of those
toasters with a black and silver cloth cord
that looked as if it might burst into flames
at any second.

The ironic part of all this is that if there
were ever an impatient family of five that
qualified for some fast action appliances it
would be ours. For years we ate meals half
defrosted too impatient and without a microwave
to let food thaw properly. As kids we walked
around in damp jeans and shirts still wet
around the cuffs, too impatient to let our
1950's dryer go yet another twenty minutes
(per cuff) until our clothes were finally

When I came home during my first Thanksgiving
break things had really changed. Call it empty
nest or whatever but my family bought a big
screen TV. They bought a push button phone.
They not only bought a CD player but a five
disk changer complete with a remote. It was
like leaving behind E.B. White's cabin in
Maine and returning to one of Michael
Douglas's homes in LA. Totally bizarre.

The latest thing I have my eye on much to my
man's dismay is a dishwasher. We entertain so
much and each party-no matter if we have two
people or six over-leaves us with at least
two days of dish washing. Either we get rid
of all our plates, never entertain again or
I say mama's coming home with a shiny new

Monday, August 23, 2004


Putting the ring in a glass of wine or
champagne or god forbid a spooky fortune
cookie because I talk a lot when I drink
and eat and I would be sure not to see it
and choke and die before responding and
this would be very, very bad.

I’m glad he did not pay $10K to have
'Will you marry me?' spelled out in the
sky (or on a baseball game scoreboard)
because who can ever read those things
anyway? And the whole time as he'd be
jabbing me in the ribs on the beach to
look up from my US Weekly towards the sky
I’d be wondering why in gods name does
he want me to read this illegible
skywriting that apparently reads,
'...ill...you...mar...me'and something
about Heinekens and a wet T-shirt

I’m glad I didn’t come home one night after
a long day of work only to find my man on
one knee in front of everyone I’ve ever known
in my life (including pets and co-workers)
in my living room and a giant pause in the
air to see my reaction as he asked me and
the only sounds are my mother's sobs crying
in advance despite the outcome.

Instead...he decided on a rainy weekend
in Maine on the porch while we were reading
and there was a fire inside and then told me
and most the world that he felt like he could
knock over all the trees in this forest with
his happiness and that makes me so so so


Saturday, August 14, 2004


So for one month (ok three days short of a month)
I gave up my trash reading of US Weekly magazine.

For the record, I only read this magazine to check
out mentally after a hard day or after I've read
the morning paper or at least some portion of a
novel I am currently reading. Ok. Now that I've
convinced you all how smart I really am I can

So I'm on the train home reading my trashy US
Weekly magazine-there are hipsters on the train.
This is bad. When there are hipsters on the train
I tend not to want to whip out my trashy mag
because hipsters glare. They glare as if to
say,'Ever heard of a zine?' or 'Look at my ipod
-it is so much cooler than you'.

My stop came. I got off the train, boarded the
escalator and proceeded to juggle a number of
items-my bag, my umbrella, a jacket I'd left
at work, my laptop, etc. As I was just about
to reach the bottom of the escalator I heard
something drop and a semi-drunk crazy woman
behind me scream,'YO MISS! YO MISS! YOU
I turned around quickly but it was too late.
I stepped off and watched as Brad Pitt and
Jennifer's gigantic, baby wanting faces were
crunched into a mangled ball-trash compactor
style followed by an ear piercing screech
causing the ENTIRE...ENTIRE escalator of
hard working, tired people with baby
strollers and bikes and heavy briefcases
and Crate & Barrel bags come to a halt.

Oh god.

I reached down to try and yank out the mess but
it only made it worse seeing I was now in the
way of a number of pissed off people that thanks
to me had to walk down. In shame I ran out the
door and straight home. Damn you Brad and
Jennifer. Damn you Demi and Ashton. Damn you
Us Weekly and your addicting qualities.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Do you ever do something, see something,
read something, hear something, that makes
you feel totally alive again? As in get you
out of your funk to which you thought there
was no end? Just in time before you convinced
yourself that oh well I guess I am just ‘one
of those people’ that will go to work come
home go to work come home go to work come
home go to work come home.
Time to make the donuts.

I came alive again last night. In a bookstore.
In Brooklyn. In a back room of a shop where
the sun was setting and there were big windows
and wood floors and a pretty garden out back
and a room full of strangers-not too many-
just enough-there to listen to a panel of some
of my favorite writers talk about humor writing.
For the record I’d like to say that writer/
moderator Sarah Vowell(Take the Cannoli/NPR
This American Life) is KICK ASS as well as
Cynthia Kaplan (Why I’m Like This) and hot
shot superstar Jonathan Ames (My Less Than
Secret Life, etc.)

The amazing thing about this three-hour affair
aside from it NOT being held in an overly crowded,
hot Manhattan Barnes & Noble full of assholes
wearing linen and carrying small dogs in straw
bags who only heard about the author in last
Sunday’s New York Times- was that the entire
lecture was so so so informative and attended
by people that truly wanted to be there. I
took about ten thousand pages of notes.

Among many things I found helpful were the

(On reading your work out loud and editing)

“Chances are…if you are reading what you wrote
and find yourself yawning or thinking to yourself
wow-I really can’t wait to get through this part
so I can get to the part when I’m really, really
funny-then chances are you are wasting your own
time. With yourself. And that’s bad.”
-Sarah Vowell

(on Writer’s Block)

“I don’t think writers get writers block but
rather writers FEAR. When I was between books and
totally unable to write anything of substance I
would wake up in the morning and say to myself
ok…write your novel TODAY. As in…the entire
novel. And then out of fear I would start a page
and get distracted and depressed and set myself
up for failure and failure over and over again.
Finally I realized two things-I can’t write a novel
in just one day. And I certainly need more than
a day to fail at life.”
–Jonathan Ames

Saturday, August 07, 2004


I enjoy taking photos but I don't enjoy them looking
all washed out despite running them through Photoshop.
Obviously I am doing something wrong here. Anyone that
can offer some technical advice I would really appreciate
it. I run auto levels, selective color, hue/saturation,
brightness/contrast, what else?

Dear Annoying Dolce & Gabbana Shades
Wearing Straight Man On Tonight's
F Train:

You are irratating.

People don't like you.

I'm sorry your girlfriend's highlights are
blinding but this is no fault but your own.

Perhaps you didn't get the memo that the subway
is UNDERGROUND. 23rd Street station is not

When it is nine o'clock at night this means

When you take your shades off to wipe them
clean there is no reason for you to put
them back on BECAUSE IT IS DARK.

When you wake up tomorrow morning what will
you put on-night goggles?

Friday, August 06, 2004


Last night after work I felt compelled to peek
into a clothing store called Forever 21.
I don’t know what came over me. I felt like I
should have been wearing dark glasses and a wig.

Everything about the store –and rightly so due
to the name was soooooo 21. Thumping bad music,
backless shirts, skin tight pants, half shirts
for revealing rock hard stomachs with dangling
belly button rings, thong underwear I mistook
for a rack of belts, etc. Even the signage was
targeted to the age group with big, blown up
words like,‘GIRLS ROCK!!!’ or ‘NATURAL BLONDE’

I do this on occasion. I freak out. More in a
surface, fashion related ‘I have nothing to wear’
kind of way rather than an age thing. It really
is so silly and embarrassing to admit but it’s
the truth. It’s hard to be surrounded on daily
basis by so many good looking, fabulously dressed
people all looking as if they are on their way
to the best party every thrown in the history
of mankind.

My freak out usually manifests like this:

Wake up.
Pick out decent outfit requiring some care.
Feel good about myself who I am-what I have become.
Emerge from subway into bustling streets of New York.

Spot stunning girl with the best shoes ever made in shoe history.
Spot girl with fantastic haircut that makes heads turn.
Spot girl with a purse/bag to end all purses.

Get to work.
Get busy. Forget all previous FAB girl sightings.
Leave work.
Feeling great about myself, and what I accomplished today.

Spot stunning girl wearing perfect pair of jeans-men turning heads.
Spot girl with greatest lipstick color ever natural but beautiful.
Spot girl-not overdone just extremely stylish with best
pair of earrings ever crafted.

Get call from friend, boyfriend, co-worker re: some last minute
party, art opening, concert, etc. invite asking me to go.

Look down at outfit.
Feeling as if wearing a wooden barrel with two straps.
Plastic bags for shoes.

Devil: You can’t wear THAT to a party?… Go shopping NOW!!!
Angel: (after 17th store) I hate shopping. I’m just going to wear this.
Devil: THAT? Are you KIDDING? Shopping is GREAT! Do it!
Angel: I’m tired. I don’t have money for this.

All I kept thinking was someone please point me
to the Forever 31 store. A store I imagined with
utter silence, free drinks at the door just to detox
from the mere thought of shopping directly after
work, a place with cheap clothes but not cheap
looking clothes, signage that was something
useful such as helpful reminders, “CALL YOUR

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Henri Cartier-Bresson Dies At 95

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a genius.
Talk about King of the reflection shot.

I was also very inspired by his portrait series.

"The most difficult thing for me is a portrait.
You have to try and put your camera between the
skin of a person and his shirt."

Monday, August 02, 2004

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